moe. Superfan Details The Incredible Journey To His 200th Show At Red Rocks

first_imgIf you are lucky enough to find someone or something that fills your life with light, frees you from your bonds and burdens, and gives you the inspiration to carry on, then you’d be a fool not to embrace it with all your heart. For eighteen years, from the first time I experienced the band called moe., to my recent magical 200th show at the revered Red Rocks Amphitheatre, I have done all I can to lose myself in the musical spell they cast. It’s safe to say you wouldn’t be reading these words if it wasn’t for the five friends from upstate New York and the wizardry they work.My name is Rex Thomson, and I’m a writer/photographer/videographer working for Live For Live Music. I’ve been given this opportunity to step out from behind the lens and the third person narrative voice, to get a bit personal on a topic that means the word to me: the band moe. For almost two decades, bassist Robert Derhak, guitarists Al Schnier and Chuck Garvey, percussionist Jim Loughlin and drummer Vinnie Amico have been performing the sound track of my life. Thanks to legendary guitar tech Frank Robbins, I even have some of the very tools they used to make that music during my 200th show!No one ends up seeing a band hundreds of times without a damn good reason, and I certainly have a few. First and foremost, the transformation I feel in myself during a show… it’s like being scrubbed clean of all of life’s cruddy residue on a spiritual level. I remember a swirling guitar crescendo at the tail end of a “Rebubula” that made me spread my arms wide to the waves of ringing perfection buffeting me in the crowd. It was completely involuntary, and I watched as if from beyond myself as it happened. It was bliss.Here’s an outstanding version of “Rebubula” from Mountain Jam, after it won a fan contest to pick a song for the set:Bliss is a pretty powerful concept, but until then it had been just that, a thought known but not understood. I’ve since learned of how powerful an effect your sense of hearing has on things like emotions and epiphanies through lots of science words. Long story short, humanity used to keep its collected knowledge and share its most basic concepts through song. We are programmed on a primal level to receive information on a mental and emotional level through music.Whatever subconscious burst of information I receive from those five minds fills me with a lasting inspiration that makes my every thought clearer and intention easier to form. Mixing laughter, fury and jaw dropping displays of musical skill and dexterity, moe. is sending out all the listener can handle and more. The rapport they share onstage makes it all the easier for fans to tune in and join the fun on the more ethereal planes.Without going to far into my final reason the band moe. means so much to me yet, I will say that some cognitive issues I face are all but gone after seeing the band, before slowly returning. Simply put, I am a better functioning, feeling human being after I spend some time seeing moe. play.I am here to tell you that not everyone finds perfect inspiration, but when it hits you, it changes everything. After first seeing the band in 1999, I made sure to catch them at any festival or show that came within striking distance. As the years flew by, the range I was willing to travel grew exponentially, all in an effort to plug into the white hot electric flow I first felt years ago. Saved ticket stubs piled up, and I continually had to find larger and larger receptacles for my treasures.In 2009, an opportunity to photograph the band’s annual Summer Camp Music Festival in Illinois for a fly-by-night outlet gave me my first taste of life BEYOND the front row at a major event. My tendency to go on face melting mental adventures during their shows met the equally powerful experience of focusing on the visual spectacle of the lights and intense performances being laid down by the band and my fate was sealed. After three straight days of massive sets of music, all watched from about five feet away, I knew what I was going to be doing for the rest of my life.I quickly found out that I was nowhere near alone in my burgeoning devotion, emotional uplift or even willingness to travel. Though I was aware that moe., like many bands had a devoted traveling fan base, I hadn’t looked up long enough to learn the faces and names. My new gig changed all that, and the more moe. shows I went to across the nation, the more of the same faces I saw. The best part? They were all slipping into their own beatific trances as the music swept them away.There are a couple of terms used for diehard moe. fans. “moe.ron” is one of the most common, and part of the band and fans shared love of puns. The other, “famoe.ly.” The difference between them can blur, and in the end, the true meaning is love. These are people who share in something that is nearly beyond words, bonded not by race or creed but by mutual understanding and emotion and I was now a happy soldier in the army.Over the next five years, it would be fair to say I went a special kind of crazy in regards to moe. When the band hosted the annual moe.down festival for their most rabid fans in upstate New York, a tradition formed around a last day election for “Mayor of moe.down” or “Mayor of moe.ville,” depending on who you ask, time of day and sobriety levels. I decided that between my work as a pretend music journalist, my occasional working with bands and promoters, and my connection to the scene itself, I was the first actually qualified candidate for office.The details of my five and a half year campaign across the country are not only too long to go through here, honestly…it’s kinda scary to type. But behind my weird endorsements……full blown campaign commercials……and even the stupid sign I lugged across creation….…there was a secret plan. Wherever I went, whether I approached them or they approached me, I asked people, “Have you ever heard of a band named moe.?” And if they hadn’t, I either urged them to check them out or gave them some of the over two thousand burned CDs I have burned from their live shows and carry with me whenever I can.Through my… zeal… I have ended up interacting with the band on a personal level from time to time. I’ve gotten to request songs for acoustic performances……gotten the band to explain things like how they write set lists……even spent a half hour getting Jim Loughlin to go through his entire percussive toy repertoire!Basically, I’ve tried to make myself useful, and I think I’ve done a good job. Feels like the least I could do, really. I try not to let my crazy appreciation of what they do get too scary for them when I am around, but I am fairly certain they have a crew member in place to taser me into submission if I get out of hand. Can’t really say I blame them.Eventually I was appointed Mayor… but I didn’t stop spreading the love and I never will. When you stumble across something that resounds within you with such a positive, energizing level, all you want to do is bask in the magic and share the love, and that’s what I’ve done. You can read my review of the Red Rocks show that was my much ballyhoo’d 200th HERE. You can read my review of the spectacular follow up show the next night in Boulder HERE. Hell, you can read about the show they played with Yonder Mountain String Band a few days later in Wisconsin HERE.But just reading those reviews won’t tell you the real story. It doesn’t mention that, to see that Wisconsin show, I had to drive about 17 straight hours out of my way, or that I had to sleep in rest stops due to the remoteness of the location and my needing to get to the next event. I don’t do this for the money. I do this for the life and love moe., has inspired me to live. And seriously, when I say they gave me life, I mean it.My mom taught me to always have three reasons to do something, and my third reason for loving the music of moe. like I do is a dozy. My life, like most, has been fraught with obstacles, like most. Mine have taken the form of some rather bleak medical prognoses that hang over me like the sword of Damocles. I’ll say this bluntly: I would not be alive today if it wasn’t for the spark moe. ignited inside me. The litany of surgeries, crises and moments of pure terror I have faced would have crushed me if I didn’t have their song in my heart.To me, a moe. show isn’t a simple entertainment, though there is certainly nothing wrong with that. That’s why they play, after all. They want to share what they can do with the world, and, thanks to my job, I get to help them do just that. I blew past my 200th show and am already at 203, with three more lined up for next month. My next goal is to reach show number 365, so I can know I spent a year feeling that same magic I felt all those years ago, but in the end, numbers aren’t what matters to me.What matters to me is building the fire of love and hope inside me burning bright, to face the long and scary nights ahead. In our primitive days we sang around the fire and danced into the night. Those rituals live on today. Bands like moe. roam the land giving us all the chance to build the strength to face the dark and the joy to truly embrace the light.Special Bonus! As usual al. took a moe.ment to thank the fans and crew on the night of my 199th show, and sent a little love back my way before nailing a wicked weekend closing cover of Cream’s “White Room.” Dig it!last_img read more

Alumnus speaks on U.S., India Relationship

first_imgNotre Dame alumnus Tim Roemer spoke Wednesday about the advances in technology that have transformed interaction and communication between the United States and India. Roemer, a Notre Dame alumnus, former U.S. Congressman [D-IN-3] and former Ambassador to India, spoke on the nature and importance of the United States’ interactions with India. The lecture, titled “Twitter, Buffett, and Darwin: India and the United States Relationship,” was the second installment of the Distinguished Lecture Series, co-sponsored by the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies. As India’s economy develops and its middle class grows and becomes more and more successful, Roemer said the country is becoming one of the biggest markets in the region for innovative technology. India also is home to a large number of English speakers and maintains a good relationship with the U.S, Roemer said. The region as a whole has an emerging middle class that is bigger than the entire U.S. population, he said. To illustrate the opportunities technology provides to that middle class, Roemer showed a photograph of a woman wearing traditional dress, carrying a metal pot on her head and talking on a cell phone, which he said would have cost $15. The woman, Roemer said, along with a hundred others, was transporting dirt from a construction site. “She is a small-business owner,” Roemer said. “She’s on this phone while she’s working at this job, and she is calling, as a small-business owner who grows flowers – she on that phone is hiring two new people because she just got a text from Twitter that the price of flowers has gone down, and she can afford two new employees. … That phone is life-changing for that woman, as a business owner.” Roemer said the elevation of millions of people from poverty to the middle class has impacted hugely both business and trade. If India’s economy continues to grow – which, he said, is not guaranteed – multinational firms are going to shift their focus to Asian markets. “If you are an international business and you want to succeed in the next 30 or 40 years, are you going to keep selling in the U.S. and EU and depend on 50, 60, 70 percent of your sales there, or are you going to expand into those markets right there?” Roemer said. “That’s this middle-class migration that is absolutely essential for the U.S. to get a hold of, to understand, and to entice our manufacturing companies to create jobs here . . . there is a real incentive, given these trends, to do more and more manufacturing in the U.S. and export these products into these new middle-class markets so you can see the resurgence of American products in the U.S.” Roemer said that the development maintenance of a good relationship between the U.S. and India, especially India’s rising middle class, is crucial. He said the past three U.S. presidents have cooperated closely with India regarding national security as well as trade. The governments of both nations recently have “supported generally a health U.S.-India relationship,” he said. Despite problems like border disputes with Pakistan, inflation, and rising food prices, trade between the two countries is increasing, Roemer said. Roemer outlined three models for companies to emulate in order to take advantage of this relationship. First, he said the “Warren Buffett Model,” is best exemplified by General Electric [GE]. GE CEO Jeffery Immelt often holds board meetings in India to expose members to the country, culture, and market, he said. “Immelt has been very, very smart about teaching his company and getting some of his best leadership to go to some of these places,” Roemer said. “If you want to run the company and you haven’t had one of those tough assignments, … if you have run the company, and you’ve been president of India, of Nigeria, of Indonesia, you really are going to see where the future of GE is.” Second, Roemer said the “Winston Churchill Model,” is best exemplified by Starbucks. CEO Howard Schultz tried to enter India in 2005 but was not successful, he said. In 2010, however, Starbucks returned. But, the company made several fundamental changes, such as partnering with Indian companies and using domestic products.  “He figured it out, and that is the Churchill Model – try it, don’t ever give up, come back again and again,” Roemer said. “That’s Churchill’s great commencement speech – never ever, ever, ever, ever give up. Schultz did not, and I think he’s onto the right thing now, and I think he’s going to succeed in India. Third, the “Darwin Model,” is an “evolutionary model” best exemplified by IKEA, he said. When it entered the Chinese market, Roemer said Ikea changed almost everything about how it presented its products, from its value proposition to its promotions to where it manufactured its products. “You have a completely different model for almost every value network and category from Europe to China. IKEA is just going into India now, and it will be a hybrid of these two approaches,” Roemer said. “It will change again.” The U.S.-India relationship is positive now, Roemer said. This relationship will remain important because India is civically engaged, religiously diverse, and respects the rule of law, he said. “That potential influence in the entire region as India grows in confidence, as India grows in influence, as India grows in articulating its foreign policy and working with other countries is absolutely and potentially profound in the future,” Roemer said. “I’m betting that future presidents are going to see this, see the economic and religious and political advantage and continue to make this one of the most important relationships in the world.” Contact Emily McConville at [email protected]last_img read more

Owen Hargreaves reveals Danny Welbeck ‘couldn’t believe’ how talented Arsenal boss Unai Emery was

Advertisement Owen Hargreaves reveals Danny Welbeck ‘couldn’t believe’ how talented Arsenal boss Unai Emery was Welbeck has made two Premier League appearances since joining Watford (Picture: Getty)‘I was speaking to Danny Welbeck, I saw him [just now], and he said what a brilliant coach Unai Emery is,’ Hargreaves told The Kelly & Wrighty Show. ‘He said he couldn’t believe how talented a coach he was.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘So I really believe in the talent that they have, the front three that they have, but it goes back to the defence. Can they sort it out?’More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityFormer Manchester United midfielder Hargreaves believes Arsenal have the squad, and the manager, to compete for a Champions League berth this season and was full of praise for Real Madrid loanee Dani Ceballos.He continued: ‘This league is difficult and I think the first game he was magnificent, then went to Anfield and barely kicked the ball – and he’s a ball player, he needs touches. So didn’t really affect the game there. The former Gunners frontman takes on his old club with Watford on Sunday (Picture: Getty)Owen Hargreaves has revealed that Danny Welbeck was blown away by Unai Emery’s coaching ability during his time at Arsenal, while the former midfielder has backed the Gunners to finish in the top four.Welbeck’s five-year stay at the Emirates came to an end over the summer after an injury-plagued final campaign and he will take on his old club with new side Watford at Vicarage Road on Sunday.The 28-year-old only spent a season playing under Emery – making just 14 appearances before injury struck – but, according to Hargreaves, the Spaniard left a huge impression on Welbeck. Comment Hargreaves thinks Arsenal have a serious chance to finish in the top four (Picture: Getty)‘When he came on against Tottenham I thought he was terrific, I thought he was exceptional. So just put all those guys on the pitch and let them figure it out.‘Lacazette up top, Aubameyang, Pepe, Ceballos maybe in behind. Torreira’s got to play I think, Guendouzi [as well]. Xhaka I’m not sure why he consistently starts with all the mistakes that he makes.‘But I like what Arsenal have. I really believe in it. In the second half against Tottenham I thought they were magnificent. They should have won the game, they really should have. And I think they’ll finish fourth.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Metro Sport ReporterSunday 15 Sep 2019 11:34 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link426Shares Advertisement read more

Poyet: Believe we’re unbeatable

first_img He told www.premierleague.com: “The good time we had stopped because the season finished. “But we talk a lot about momentum and there are a few players, the players who have been there at the end of the season that finished playing with the feeling of being unbeatable, practically. “I hope that we take it into this season because it is very, very important that we start well in the Premier League. “If you do not, what happened to us last season can happen and, like I said in the beginning, I do not want to suffer again.” In a bid to avoid a repeat of last season’s struggles, Poyet and sporting director Lee Congerton have spent the summer rebuilding the squad, with Brighton winger Will Buckley becoming the seventh new recruit on Thursday. Perhaps the most eye-catching arrival to date is midfielder Jack Rodwell, who has completed a £10million move from Manchester City, where he endured two injury-plagued seasons. Skipper John O’Shea said: “Fingers crossed we can give him (Rodwell) the platform to showcase the talent he undoubtedly has and that I witnessed as well, close hand, when he played for Everton. “He was a fantastic talent and from what I have seen so far, he has got plenty of that ability and, hopefully, we can give him that platform to get back into the England team, get plenty of goals for us and get us up that table in the Premier League.” The Black Cats launch the new Barclays Premier League campaign at West Brom on Saturday having preserved their top-flight status with a remarkable late run which saw them avoid relegation despite for long periods looking like certainties for the drop. Now Poyet, who has just completed his first pre-season with his squad, is hoping some of the momentum his team established remains as he looks for a much better start than predecessor Paolo Di Canio managed 12 months ago. Press Associationcenter_img Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet is hoping his players return to action still feeing “unbeatable” after last season’s great escape. last_img read more